The state of Texas has more intrastate natural gas pipeline miles than any other state in the U.S. at over 43,000. The Texas intrastate network has undergone a significant demand for growth over the last several years and is a result of the increased demand for pipeline capacity. It is driven by the quick expansion and development of the natural gas production in the Barnett Shale Formation. Many updates to old pipelines and new ones are being built as a result. However, these figures do not even include oil and other similar industrial pipelines.
No matter what the scenario, whenever a pipeline ruptures and causes damage to any person or people, an experienced attorney should be contacted immediately in order to ensure the workers and their families are not stuck with the financial burden. This is also true for anyone in the vicinity of the explosion who was injured.
Accidental Causes of Baytown Pipeline Ruptures
Pipeline ruptures, and explosions on some occasions, can occur in a variety of ways. Pipelines are ruptured in many instances by a third party striking or impacting the pipeline. This often comes to be due to negligent activity above ground. As an example, a contractor digging near the pipeline who is unaware of the pipeline’s presence may accidentally rupture it. At other times, pipeline ruptures can occur when an automobile or heavy truck makes contact with a portion of the above ground piping. In either case, intention is not the issue. When there is a pipeline rupture that causes serious injuries or death, the guilty parties can and should be held responsible.
Other Causes of Baytown Pipeline Ruptures
Another common cause of pipeline ruptures in Baytown is poor maintenance by the employer. With many pipelines in advanced stages of aging, it has become a huge problem in the United States – especially in the last 5 to 10 years. Many of these systems are over 50 years old and still contain a variety of explosive gases inside. Unfortunately, many of these aging systems have not been repaired or properly maintained yet still remain in operation. Structural damage and deterioration in pipelines may not be visually obvious because the corrosion is internal or is limited to underground segments of the pipeline. As its walls break down, cracks or ruptures can form, making it an extremely dangerous scenario. This is especially true when the pipeline carries highly explosive petrochemical products. These petrochemical products are pressurized in order to move it through the system. The thinning walls of pipelines then succumb to the pressures and cause the line to rupture. Some of these ruptures are leaks or fissures, while others can literally be explosions that can damage property and injure people for miles around.